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Gemstone Tips and Secrets

  • Jade's Secret Language

    A particularly charming aspect of jade renderings is the hidden meaning in the carvings.  Jade carvings are often symbolic puns on spoken Chinese.  Bats, for example, are a symbol of happiness or blessings because the spoken syllable for bat (fu) sounds the same as that of blessing.  Bats are often shown upside down because the Chinese word dao  (upside down) is a pun on the word "arrived," so an upside down bat implies that happiness has arrived.
  • Jade: The Living Stone

    It is seductive, mysterious, addictive–it’s jade. People have died for it. Legends surround it. A Chinese emperor once offered fifteen cities for a jade carving so small that it fit in the palm of his hand. Jade was thought to be a male stone, so naked virgins were sent to gather it from stream beds in the belief that the stone would be attracted to them. Jade has survived floods, fires, burial, and economic upheavals. Not least of all, during the past decade, some jade carvings have appreciated at a rate of nearly three thousand percent. Another plus for collectors is that manly of these treasures are small enough to be easily portable or worn as jewelry.
  • Amber: Golden Window on the Past

    Touching amber is like touching time itself. In addition to being a beautiful gem, amber has become a scientific source material, truly a golden window on the past giving us a glimpse into a world that is millions of years old. Amber is the fossilized sap exuded from a species of extinct pine trees. It is thanks to amber that traces of life that flourished in primeval forests have been preserved until today.
  • Tips for the Novice Jade Collector

    Buying and collecting jade can be a tricky road to navigate. The most obvious form of insurance is to buy from reputable dealers who will stand by their merchandise. But what about the collector who loves the hunt (and what true collector doesn’t?), the collector who haunts the flea markets and garage sales in the hope of finding a treasure among the plastic fruit and broken china? This collector has to have some ammunition for protection, and the following suggestions may hel
  • Morganite: A Connoisseur's Gem

    Morganite is rumored to bring romance into the wearer’s life. Ancient Romans believed beryls of all colors were aphrodisiacs. They especially prized emeralds for this purported power, but they also considered Morganite a romance enhancer.
  • Colors of Jade

    Certain colors of jadeite, the newer jade, are highly valued as gem material. The emerald colored “Imperial green,” along with lavender, rare blue,...
  • Ming Dynasty Jade

    This is one of the finest  antique nephrite jade bangles I have had the privilege of offering for sale. It dates from the late Ming/early Qing Dyn...
  • The Lure of Rubies

    Ruby - red, the color of blood and passion has a rich lore and history. This birthstone for July has admirers deep into antiquity. But what is a r...